Being a chef, or a person who loves to cook, you have probably come across copper cookware. You were immediately impressed by their elegant appearance.
You did a little research and found out that they are high-quality products. And you thought to yourself that they would make a great addition to your cookware collection.
But, as soon as you decided to check the price of the pots and pans, shock dawned upon you. ‘They are not some ordinary cookware,’ you thought to yourself. However, soon after, a question rushed into your mind- why is copper cookware so expensive anyway?
Now, this question has a lot of answers to it. And we are here to talk about them all. We will provide you with every information regarding this until you find what you were looking for.
What Is Copper Cookware Used for?
These copper-made products are used for cooking. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. But the real question here is- what dishes are best made in copper cookware? While every meal will cook perfectly in these pans, they are mostly preferred for making sauces and candies.
Reaching high temperatures and spreading heat evenly across the pan are two necessary aspects when making these dishes, which is why copper cooking sets are ideal for them.
Other than that, you can use them to prepare any meals that require such features. They will never burn your food despite reaching high thermal levels. Furthermore, you can also use copper pots to beat eggs or cake batters. Since they are anti-bacterial, your batter/eggs will remain healthy and germ-free.
Manufacturing Cost- Is It the Actual Reason?
Usually, when a product is expensive, we assume that the reason must be the high manufacturing costs. To some extent, this assumption is true. Usually, if the product isn’t made using high-quality materials following an expensive process, it shouldn’t have a high-priced tag.
Hence, we will be discussing copper cookware's manufacturing costs. This is to give you an insight into how the materials and the construction process affect its price.
Copper is a Valuable Metal
You don’t have to be fond of chemistry to know that copper is very useful and precious. This metal is in high demand because it can be used for various purposes.
Due to its amazing physical properties, copper is used to making wires, electronics, etc. Any other metal can barely compete with this one when it comes to providing incredible facilities.
So, the issue is, this material has a limited supply. That is because most of the effortlessly-mined veins have been utilized. Only environmentally harmful things, such as fracking, can be used to get more copper out.
In a lot of places, the mines have been closed down, which severely affected its supply. Since the manufacturing plants working with copper are fewer now, this metal is not as abundant as it used to be. As a result, copper itself is an expensive metal, and any product made of it is costly as well.
Lining on Copper Cookware
Even though copper pans are well-known for cooking purposes, they shouldn’t directly come into contact with food. That is because, while copper has remarkable physical properties, it also has amazing chemical properties.
As a result, this is very reactive. The food contains acids and other elements that might end up reacting with copper. This will produce toxic substances, and we can assure you that you wouldn't want this to happen.
Therefore, these pots and pans are often lined with other metals. The two most popular choices, in this case, are tin and stainless steel.
Tin is the more popular option. The reason is simple- tin is cheap. Moreover, this method is traditional, so everyone follows it. But, the material also wears down easily, which results in the cookware being relined every 5-6 years.
That is not the kind of problem you will face with stainless steel, though. This material is the more expensive option, but you will surely appreciate its durability. So, no matter which option you go for, the costs are similar in the long term- which, by the way, is quite high nevertheless.
Layers of Copper in a Cookware
Copper pots and sets are renowned for superior heat distribution. This is why a lot of professional chefs prefer their pans. But the thickness of the layer or the number of it is what determines the extent of the distribution.
Since these products contain coatings of other metals anyway, the layer of copper must remain significant. For instance, if the cookware is made using just one layer of copper, then it should be thick.
Or, the product usually contains 2-3 layers of copper. Otherwise, you may witness some uneven spots of heat, which might scorch your meal.
Since the amount of copper used in the cookware is quite a lot, the price is also usually very high. With a small amount of this metal, you could have purchased the products at a lower price.
Characteristics of Copper Cookware
Some items are expensive because of their characteristics. It is often believed that good products are priced higher. So, is it the features of these pans and pots that make them so costly? Are other factors affecting the price as well?
Hence, we will be discussing all the factors and features that are contributing to the high expenses of copper cookware.
Copper Provides More Hygiene
The fact that this metal is a toxic one is no secret. If meals are cooked on bare copper pans, then even humans might get affected by the toxicity. Similarly, microorganisms have a hard time surviving on such cookware, as well.
Unlike this metal, others are not as reactive; and hence, they are not very toxic either. This causes germs and bacteria to remain on the utensils, which in turn can get transmitted to the food from time to time.
However, this doesn’t happen with copper cooking sets. You will face no hassle when cleaning copper cookware because it doesn’t require much effort. Hence, they are more preferred when people are specifically looking for anti-bacterial pans.
Copper Sets Save Energy
Copper is a good conductor of heat and electricity alike. Hence, it is not surprising that copper pots heat up more quickly than their counterparts. As a result, less energy is needed to start cooking.
Moreover, since they heat evenly throughout the entire pan as well, you will not need much time to get done with your cooking. All in all, they can save both your time and your gas bill.
This aspect is missing in a lot of its competitors, which makes it more preferable and hence, fairly expensive, to some extent.
A lot of pans are either too heavy or too lightweight in some cases. This makes them either hard to lift, or too prone to break down. Both of these phenomena make them less reliable.
But, that's not the kind of situation you will face with copper cookware. These products mostly come with the ideal weight. That is because this metal itself isn't very dense.
As a result, you will not have any trouble when lifting them or when working with them. Their average density keeps them intact, without putting extra stress on your hands.
Durable and Corrosion-Resistant
One of the best features of these pans is that they last for a very long time. You should be able to use even the ones that are 20-30 years old. You will only need to restore their lining a little, and they would be as good as new.
All thanks to their sturdiness, you won’t feel the need to replace them every once in a while. So, even if they are very costly, their worth doesn’t degrade as much over time. In the long-term sense, you can save money by purchasing them.
On the other hand, you will not have to worry about your cooking sets corroding or rusting. Since they are usually coated with other metals, the copper doesn’t react with any substance itself, which prevents corrosion.
However, not all brands offer such long-lasting products. Therefore, it is recommended that you go through copper cookware reviews to purchase the best one for yourself.
Copper Cookware Sells Less than Steel and Aluminum Cookware
This cannot be regarded as one of their features, but it is more of a factor that affects the cost of copper cookware.
The reason why they are sold in lower quantities is that they are expensive. That is because people prefer steel and aluminum cookware as they are cheaper. Ironically, this increases the cost of copper cooking sets even further. The cost per unit remarkably rises.
As a result, the price of copper cookware increases, even if the manufacturing costs remain the same.
The Average Price of Copper Cookware
If you don’t already know how much copper cookware can cost, then you might be wondering about it. After all, it’s only normal to wonder as to why they are treated as a luxury item.
Well, there is no definite answer to this. They come at a range of prices, but they are usually in the high end. For instance, a single pot or pan made of copper can cost around 100-200 dollars. Whereas, the entire sets can range somewhat from 1000-3000 dollars.
That's an absurd amount and way more than what their Teflon or aluminum counterparts charge.
However, you can buy old copper cook sets and restore them. Even if they are ten years old, you can polish them. You will be surprised by how new they look. Moreover, they will cost half of what you would have to pay for a brand new set.
Now that you know why copper cookware is expensive, we hope that you will give them a try. That is because their costliness is justified, and they are in fact, amazing.
They will indeed be a great addition to your collection. And you will love them, whether cooking is your hobby or your profession. With the right copper utensils, cooking will only get more fun for you!